Files Missing

I have done hours of interviews that were saved as Audacity files. I opened the first session and it is saying files are missing and all of my content is not showing up.
Please tell me there is a way to fix this and recover my content. I am working off of a Mac.

There are two parts to an Audacity project. There is the “.aup” file, and a “_data” folder. Both parts are required. If you have moved the .aup file, you need to move it back with the _data folder. If you have deleted the _data folder, you need to rescue it from your recycle bin.

There’s additional information about how to safely manage Audacity projects here:

Is there a way to see where the files are supposed to have been so I know where to put them back to if they have moved. Or is it possible to change where it’s reading the data file from to the new location where it may be in?

When you save an Audacity project, both the “.aup” file and it’s associated “_data” folder are saved to the location that you choose.
The file and folder both take the name that you specify, for example, if you save a project as “mymusic”, then there will be a project file called “mymusic.aup” and it’s data folder will be called “mymusic_data”.

The “.aup” file and it’s “_data” folder must both be in the same folder, otherwise, when you try to open the “.aup” file, Audacity will not be able to find the “_data” folder to go with the file. For example, if you have “mymusic.aup” in your “Documents” folder, then “mymusic_data” must also be in your Documents folder.

It’s not a “data file.” This is an Audacity Project.

Double click the AUP Project Manager and it will open the nearby _DATA folder and put your show together from the pieces inside. The two have to be next to each other, have the same name and it has to be the name you gave them inside Audacity.

You can use the Mac search system to look for the _DATA folder. Magnifying glass upper right. The AUP is not a sound file.

I try to put all my work on the Desktop and then shuffle it all later. Audacity may try to put your work in Documents or Music.


It is very strongly recommended that you Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file of each interview in addition to anything else. That’s your protection backup. Never work in MP3.

Did Spotlight (magnifying glass) work? It can fail. It won’t do searches in the sensitive Mac System folders.

Mine looks like this.

Screen Shot 2019-10-06 at 13.09.22.png
With the exception of the first hit, those are all my _data folders. If I choose one and hold down the Command key, the response will eventually give me the folder location on the Mac.


I am working off of a Mac.

Recent Windows convert? Just wondering.


the response will eventually give me the folder location on the Mac.

If you can’t write that fast, keep holding the Command key. The information periodically cycles.